Who Says U.S. Businesses are Pulling Back on a Climate Bill?

The recent departure of three companies from USCAP has raised questions about the state of U.S. business support for climate legislation.

But the fact is that business support for climate legislation is strong and growing.

Of course, that’s not a story that the ultra-conservative National Center for Public Policy (NCPP) wants you to hear. The NCPP went so far as to put out its own press release on the changes at USCAP, but they couldn’t even get the facts straight. They falsely claimed that USCAP "misled" the public by "failing to disclose" that two other companies -- Xerox and Marsh -- had also recently departed.

First off, those two companies left in June 2009. Second of all, USCAP did announce it, as is made clear in this press release. Actually, that press release was announcing that Alstom and AES were joining USCAP, but I guess that the NCPP doesn’t read those kinds of press releases. So they probably didn’t read about Honeywell joining it either.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at what a growing number of businesses are doing to build support for action that will build a new clean energy economy for America. 

Over 60 companies are signed on to the recent USCAP-led “Leadership” ad calling for strong climate legislation, declaring that

We believe it’s time for Democrats and Republicans to unite behind bi-partisan, national energy and climate legislation that increases our security and limits emissions, as it preserves and creates jobs. 

Earlier this month, a separate group of business executives braved the worst snowstorm in Washington, D.C. history to light a fire under federal lawmakers.

And American Businesses for Clean Energy, which was launched in November 2009 around the simple statement of support for "Clean energy and climate legislation that will significantly reduce greenhouse gases," reports that it is now closing in on 2,500 companies!

So, why do so many companies want us to move ahead with comprehensive clean action on clean energy? Because many companies realize that we are in a race for leadership in the next generation of technologies that will power the global economy. That’s why We Can Lead-- a partnership of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, manufacturers and energy providers-- has just launched a new campaign: “Race for American Jobs - Clean Energy Leadership.”

These startling statistics make clear why more and more businesses think the U.S. needs to get more active in the race for clean energy:

  • Ninety percent of today’s market for new clean energy technologies is outside of the United States, primarily in Asia and Europe.
  • China now boasts the world’s largest solar panel manufacturing industry – which exports about 95 percent of its production to countries, including the United States. 
  • Europe led the world in clean energy investments in 2008, spending nearly $50 billion. The Chinese government has announced a ten-year, $400 billion clean energy technology investment program.
  • Denmark’s share of the global wind turbine market is disproportionate to its domestic market and the size of its economy; Danish wind manufacturers produce close to 40 percent of annual global installed wind capacity.
  • Germany’s renewable energy policies have made it a leader in clean energy manufacturing; German companies could capture 15-20 percent of several global clean energy markets and realize at least $18-$30 billion a year in revenues by 2020.

Clearly, there's support from businesses that want action that creates certainty in the market and opens new opportunities for our economy. It's time for Congress to get off the couch and in the race.

About the Authors

Pete Altman

Director of Federal Campaigns

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